Allegation of mafia activity at NFA revealed in complaint to OP

The alleged discovery of a “mafia” within the National Food Authority came to light when a formal complaint was filed at the Office of the President. The complaint accused NFA Administrator Roderico Bioco of involvement in questionable rice sales to certain traders. Documents revealed that the complaint was submitted on Feb. 13 by NFA Assistant Administrator Lemuel Pagayunan, who claimed that Bioco authorized the sale of 75,000 bags of NFA rice, amounting to P93.75 million, to specific traders.

Pagayunan alleged that Bioco sold NFA’s supposed “deteriorating or aging stocks” to G4Rice Mill Corp. and NBK San Pedro Rice Mill, even though the rice was reportedly fit for consumption. This prompted Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. to launch an investigation into the corruption allegations at the NFA.

According to Pagayunan, a memorandum issued in 2023 instructed that the stocks be repackaged without NFA markings before being sold as commercial rice. The complaint also highlighted irregularities in the approval process for the sale of NFA stocks, noting that the transactions were only authorized by Bioco and another NFA official, without proper oversight from the NFA Council.

Furthermore, Pagayunan accused Bioco and NFA Region 4 RM Alwin Uy of directly engaging with commercial rice traders without allowing other bidders to submit their bids. He alleged that the buyers were preselected by Bioco and Uy, and that the sale transactions did not follow the necessary procedures for the sale of NFA commodities.

Overall, the complaint raised concerns about the lack of proper authorization and transparency in the sale of NFA stocks, prompting an investigation into the alleged corruption within the agency.

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